See the visible linear scar left behind by an FUT hair transplant procedure vs the undetectable, natural looking results of an FUE hair transplant procedure.
Should I get an FUE or FUT Hair Transplant? The Different Hair Transplant Options
Choosing the best option of hair transplant for you can feel confusing or intimidating. However, RESTORE is here to provide our knowledge to our clientele to make the best informed decision based on your own specific set of needs. We are often asked, “Which procedure is better: an FUE or FUT hair transplant?” Everyone experiences hair loss differently, so everyone’s treatment approach should be tailored to their own specific hair loss journey. We want to make navigating hair restoration an overall less scary and stressful experience and answer the question of whether an FUE or FUT procedure is best for you.
In today’s world, there are essentially two different types of hair transplant procedures – FUE or FUT hair transplant. F.U.E. stands for Follicular Unit Excision, while F.U.T. stands for Follicular Unit Transplantation. Everyone who proceeds with a hair transplant will ultimately be confronted with both options, while often receiving simultaneously conflicting recommendations from various doctors.
Hopefully this blog and the education we provide you with will settle once and for all the differences, pros, and cons of each procedure (FUE or FUT) and help you make the best decision for yourself.
Let’s begin with a basic summary of each type of hair transplant procedure, then examine the basic pros and cons of each:
FUT stands for “follicular unit transplantation”, but it is most commonly known as the “strip” hair transplant method. This method requires removing a linear piece of flesh from the back of your scalp, (a “strip”), from which your hair follicles are later extracted. This method became common in the mid 1990s as it replaced the original and less desirable method of “hair plugs” which dominated the 1980s and early 1990s.
The FUT method requires a line of sutures along the scalp where skin was removed. It is commonly known as being more invasive and requiring much more healing time than the newer, more technologically advanced FUE method.
FUE stands for “follicular unit excision”. This method requires individually removing each hair from the back of your head, rather than removing them all at once via one piece of flesh. The FUE method became popular in the mid 2000s and continues to grow in popularity, although both FUE and FUT are still commonly available today.
The FUE method requires intense focus by the doctor, so it is important to do your research before choosing your surgeon. This method has much less healing time and overall, the recovery period is much quicker for patients.
Here are some key pro and con points to note for each type of procedure:
FUT (the “strip” method)
- Older method
- Less expensive
- Easier to perform for the doctor
- Longer recovery time
- More healing pain
- Linear scar
- Better for people who always choose to wear their hair long in the back
- Newer method
- More expensive
- More challenging and time-consuming to perform for the doctor
- Shorter recovery time
- Less healing pain
- No linear scar
- Better for people who like to wear their hair short in the back
Now let’s examine some of the procedure differences in greater detail:
FUE or FUT PRICING
Notably, the older strip method is cheaper than the more modern FUE method. This is because a strip is far less labor-intensive for the doctor. The newer FUE method requires “threading the needle” thousands of times to individually remove each hair from your head whereas the strip method allows your doctor to remove every follicle in a matter of minutes.
This variable influences the price significantly, because a higher time investment from your doctor means a higher price. As far as pricing goes for FUE or FUT, FUT is more affordable, but if you are looking to have a procedure accompanied by much less pain, much less downtime, and visibly no scarring, then the increase in cost of FUE may be worth it to you.
FUE or FUT DOCTORS
Very simply, the FUE method is more challenging to perform than a strip. For this reason, some doctors will nudge patients toward the strip method simply to save time and attempt to scale their practice.
Also, there are quite a few “under skilled” doctors who perform the strip method because it’s an easier surgery for them to offer. Conversely, the FUE method is clearly more challenging – it requires more time, more patience, more training, more resources, and a larger staff (hence the greater price tag).
A fantastic doctor should be capable of performing both surgeries at a high level, although they will typically specialize in one form or the other. At RESTORE, our doctors highly recommend and practice the FUE method. Though it takes more time and is more costly, we believe that it benefits our clients more to have less downtime and a virtually undetectable procedure.
Our doctors are well educated and trained at what they do, and have performed countless procedures on clients of all walks of life. They have seen every scenario when it comes to hair loss and in most cases, can solve any hair loss problem.
The experience that they have is unmatched, especially because they have been trained by Dr. James Harris, an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon and recognized innovator in the field of hair restoration. It is absolutely worth it to have your procedure performed by doctors who specialize in hair.
FUE or FUT SCARRING
There is no such thing as a “scarless” hair transplant – all hair transplants leave scars, although to a varying degree. The strip method leaves a more visible and detectable linear scar that stretches across the back of the head, and this is typically considered more unsightly. Those who opt for a strip are commonly forced to wear their hair much longer in the back for the rest of their lives, because the resulting scar is prominent enough that it requires ample hair coverage to conceal.
A common misconception with hair transplantation is that this is the only option to have your hair restored; however, this is not true. On the contrary, the FUE method leaves many tiny, nearly undetectable circular scars around each follicle excision site. The FUE method allows patients more substantial freedom to wear their hair very short without the worry that scars will be detectable.
To reiterate, the procedure that RESTORE performs is virtually undetectable and leaves your head of hair looking completely natural. No one will know you had a hair transplant procedure done unless you tell them!
FUE or FUT HEALING
For most patients during the recovery period, the FUE method is decisively more tolerable than a strip. The strip (FUT) method requires removing a piece of flesh from the head, which subsequently requires sutures and can commonly cause painful healing, or even invite risk of infection, even with appropriate painkillers and medication.
Additionally, patients who opt for a strip must return to the clinic later to have the sutures removed, requiring additional time from patients and doctors. This results in scheduling and attending multiple visits to the clinic costing you more time than you would prefer.
Meanwhile, the FUE method makes many tiny incisions which quickly scab over. In the several days after surgery, patients who had the FUE surgery almost always report less pain. Also, quite favorably, FUE patients do not need to return to the clinic for suture removal.
The process can be done in one day and you will be back to your life in no time. The healing downtime is so manageable that some patients even go back to work the very next day. This is a major benefit of the FUE procedure in that you can take less time off work, while having little to no evidence of having a hair transplant done in the first place.
FUE or FUT RESULTS
Immediately following the introduction of FUE in the mid 2000s, many doctors reported that the post-transplant survival rate of FUE follicles was lower than the strip method. This obviously initially caused great concern and subsequently became a myth that has lingered with the FUE procedure ever since.
In fact, the lack of initial success with the first FUE procedures was caused by a lack of experience among doctors. At that time, no doctor had ever performed the FUE method before, so there was a learning curve before the procedure was perfected as there is with any other newly introduced procedure.
The truth is that an experienced FUE surgeon should achieve the exact same follicular survival rate as an experienced FUT surgeon, with the same fantastic results. Today, RESTORE has doctors that are specifically trained to perform FUE procedures and perform them with great success day in and day out.
The major differentiator when it comes to FUE vs FUT results is the large linear scar that FUT leaves behind. In our opinion, FUE is the clear better option in terms of results for this reason. Plus, it can be assumed that there are less complications when it comes to FUE post operation healing since there are no sutures involved at all.
Choosing between an FUE or FUT hair transplant procedure can feel confusing. The FUE method has surpassed the FUT method in popularity for good reason. In particular, the lack of more permanent visible scarring, more tolerable recovery period, and fantastic results have caused more people to choose FUE. The biggest potential drawback of FUE is cost, but if paying a bit more results in a virtually undetectable hair transplant, we think it’s well worth the larger investment.
Cost conscious patients may opt for the FUT hair transplant method, but you must remember that the linear scar is permanent and will stay with you forever. From our experience, when choosing between an FUE or FUT hair transplant. we typically recommend opting for an FUE procedure. When it’s your life, your confidence, and your head on the line, we recommend choosing the superior option and the best doctors, both of which are offered at RESTORE Hair.